Despite the fact that a little over half of the world’s population is comprised of women, various statistics report that less than one-quarter of all top leadership roles are filled by women, and in many instances this percentage is far smaller, and in the single digits.
Have You Left Your Power at the Table?
Various reasons are given for continued inequality, from the challenges of combating continuing stereotypes to a lack of qualified female candidates to groom for top leadership roles. There is one potential cause for this continued misrepresentation that gets very little attention. Unbelievable as it may sound at first, one of the reasons why there are so few women in leadership roles may be because women sabotage themselves on their climb to the top by simply giving their power away.
At first glance, this seems improbable. After all, most of us know talented, educated, confident and self-assured women, who work hard every day to make a difference in their jobs, homes and communities. What has all of this work by women been about if it hasn’t been about the struggle to gain the power to increase gender balance and effect positive change for everyone? How is it even possible for a woman to give her power away?
The Benefits of Claiming Your Power
While no one is saying that women are intentionally giving their power away, conditioning, and static societal “norms,” may lead women to give up power by sharing it with others or simply walking away from it by refusing to claim it. When women claim their power and properly manage it, they act in ways that draw attention to their skills and talents and allow them to shine. By shining a spotlight on their unique abilities, they naturally become the logical choice for the next top leader.
Ways Women Give Power Away – Reclaim Your Power and Get Noticed
If you’ve been struggling to break away and stand out, take a look at the following ways that women often unknowingly give up their power. Get ready to rise to the next level of leadership by using the related strategies to help your talents shine. Better still – join the free Athena Coaching Set yourself up for Success Challenge!.
Are You Too Nice?
Being likeable and easy to get along with can be helpful to your career in the short and intermediate term, the benefits of “being nice” rapidly disappear when you allow your desire to be liked to sap your effectiveness. When a board has to choose between candidates, more often than not they are going to choose the one that has a proven record of results and getting “it” done over the one who is known for being congenial but unable to produce results.
Stop worrying that you will come across as harsh when you set high standards and hold others accountable for their actions and results. Don’t be afraid to push for, and expect, excellence, in yourself, your peers and your direct reports.
Claim Your Credit
In addition to being forced to “play nice”, as young girls, many women struggle to overcome society’s demand that they also be humble and modest.
Don’t give your power away by letting others claim credit for your ideas, efforts and hard work. Stop worrying about coming off as pushy or rude but speak up when others repeat or otherwise use your ideas.
Don’t be afraid to gently remind others when they benefit from your actions. Rather than appearing arrogant, “tooting your own horn” is an important part of managing your reputation and increasing your influence. This form of positive self-promotion will help you to be seen as both competent and confident and the person to turn to when your organisation needs fresh and interesting ideas.
Increase Your Power By Increasing Beneficial Connections
If you genuinely want to rise to the top leadership roles, here are 4 tips that can help you get to the top.
- It’s important that you actively seek out beneficial relationships and build bonds and connections with others that can help you.
- Seek out mentors who can offer advice and allow them to open doors for you through introductions to their network.
- Build relationships with peers that you can learn from, assist and grow with at your company and your industry at large.
- Offer mutual aid and advice and don’t be afraid to pay it forward by helping others achieve their goals.
Building and managing your influence with others and then properly leveraging those connections is an important part of claiming and increasing your power. Doing so enables you to recruit potential allies and champions who believe in your talents. That will help you reach your goals by removing obstacles for you as you build mutual respect and trust through cooperation and connection building.
Gain clarity, know your goals and set yourself up for success!
Overcoming social “programming” and expectations can be a difficult challenge for both women and men. Why not set yourself up for success in 2016 and join the Athena Coaching 28-day challenge? Starting on the 4th January 2016, I will provide you with online weekly resources and activities that you can do from anywhere, that will support you in your mission make 2016 the year you gain your power.
If you’re committed to the idea that 2016 is the year you WILL achieve success, click here. Start to claim your power so that you can rise to the next level of leadership. Best of all, it’s FREE!